Apple announced updated 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pros last week. Let’s take a quick look at the performance of these new laptops using Geekbench 4 results from the Geekbench Browser.
For those unfamiliar with Geekbench 4, it is our cross-platform CPU and GPU benchmark. Higher scores are better, with double the score indicating double the performance.
An important fact to consider when examining Geekbench scores for brand new Macs is that macOS performs several setup tasks in the background, such as synchronizing iCloud documents and photos. These tasks vary from system to system, can take several days to complete, and can affect performance. Geekbench scores for brand new systems are often lower as a result.
So treat the scores for the 2018 MacBook Pros as preliminary. I expect scores for the 2018 MacBook Pros to increase over the coming weeks. Consult the Geekbench Mac Benchmark chart, and in particular, entries for the 2018 MacBook Pros, for the latest scores.
MacBook Pro (15-inch) Performance
For the 15-inch models, single-core performance is up 12-15%, and multi-core performance is up 39-46%. Since the underlying processor architecture hasn’t significantly changed between the 2017 and 2018 models, the increases in performance are due to higher Turbo Boost frequencies, more cores, and DDR4 memory.
OpenCL performance for the discrete GPUs is also up 28-32%. The increase in performance is due, in part, to higher frequencies. For example, the AMD Radeon Pro 560 has a maximum frequency of 0.9 GHz, while the AMD Radeon Pro 560X has a maximum frequency of 1.0 GHz.
MacBook Pro (13-inch) Performance
For the 13-inch models, single-core performance is up 3%-11%, and multi-core performance is up 81%-86%. Again, higher Turbo Boost frequencies and more cores are responsible for the increases (the 2018 13-inch models still uses DDR3 memory).
What’s interesting is that the 2018 13-inch models are competitive with the 2017 15-inch models in both single-core and multi-core performance, making the new 2018 13-inch MacBook Pro a smaller and lighter replacement for the 2017 15-inch MacBook Pro.
The 2018 MacBook Pro is the most substantial upgrade (at least regarding performance) since the introduction of quad-core processors in the 2011 MacBook Pro.